I live in a small, rural area in southeast Arizona. The little community I reside in is completely surrounded by farm fields. However, once upon a time, this entire area was one big pecan orchard, and throughout the years, homes were built and streets were developed within this orchard. My home was one of the homes built within this pecan orchard which left several pecan trees remaining on my property.
Every year we harvest these pecans and sell them to local markets, who then turn around and resell them to their customers at a higher price. The market, or reseller, is the middle man. And the middle man almost always makes the most profit, and I’ll explain why.
The process we use for the pecan harvest
To get ready for the pecan harvest, there’s a little work to be done which requires some man hours, a little sweat and maybe a few blisters. The main thing to be done is the clearing of the ground around the pecan trees. So that involves raking up the leaves and any remaining pecans from the previous year and mowing the grass real low. It’s easier to see and pick up the pecans without all that junk getting in the way.
Several people here own large orchards with dozens of pecan trees on them and are constantly at war with the crows. A crow will eat anywhere in between 15 to 25 pecans per day. So a swarm of fifty crows, each eating twenty pecans per day, adds up to a lot of lost nuts! That’s money out of pocket. So what they do is purchase what they call a popper. It’s basically a device that shoots blanks every so often to scare away the crows. Others invest in high powered pellet guns and turn into sharp shooters during certain months of the year.
Once the first few freezes sweep across the valley, the pecans are ready to harvest. At that point, we call the “Tree Shaker.” He comes over with his own creation of a tree shaker, which is basically half Dodge and half hydraulic robot, and he shakes the trees. He charges $12 per tree at the moment.
Once the nuts are on the ground, we use hand held pecan rollers to pick them up off the ground. Those with larger orchards use larger “steam roller” pecan rollers or large tarps. The nuts are then placed in bags.
Most pecan harvesters haul their nuts all the way to Las Cruces New Mexico for the biggest payout. Smaller harvesters, such as myself, drive our nuts and sell them to local markets in Gilbert and Mesa Arizona.
Here’s the part where you learn about why the middle man almost always makes the most profit. After learning of the pecan harvest process, with all the man hours, fuel, tools, blanks, pellet guns, water for the trees and equipment to manage acreage, you know that the costs add up!
Last I heard, pecan harvesters were getting paid between $1.60 to $2.60 per pound, for their unshelled pecans. That’s for the nut meat, not the shells. The middle man at a local market, can sell a one pound bag of pecans for anywhere between $12 to $16. The middle man makes the most money. He has much less invested, yet, yields the most profit!
This isn’t just true for the pecan harvesters. It’s true in general.
Take my business for example. I’m an affiliate with the Empower network. What that means is the Empower Network is the one that has produced the product, much like the pecan harvester. They’ve created the website, the blogging platform, the training, setup the merchant accounts, and so forth. All I have to do is fork out a little bit of money to get started, much like the middle man who purchases the unshelled pecans.
From there, I have the potential to resell their products. And here’s what separates the Empower Network from all other business opportunities out there. I resell their products, not for 40%, 50% or even 60% commissions…but for a 100% commission. Empower Network is the harvester, and I’m the middle man who makes ALL of the profit.
So you see, it pays to be the middle man. Don’t eat yourself up over creating your own product. Jump in as the middle man! It’s much more fun!